I was back again at my favorite local venue in Raleigh, the Red Hat Amphitheater. Honestly, you just can’t beat this place for downtown concerts. Great staff here. Always a great time.
The two weeks leading to the day of the show had been pretty scorching hot. With Slayer coming to town, I could only imagine the Hell that awaited! Roaring flames of metal to heat of the night!
I grew up in the 80’s and the Big Four were among the bands that my friends and I would listen to–a lot! Slayer was and still is undeniably a HUGE influence on all the other bands I liked back then–and still love today. They set the bar high and others followed.
When I got approved to shoot the Slayer concert (on assignment and not as a fan) I was totally stoked. This would be the first time I’d get to see Slayer up close without being mauled in the pit. If you haven’t been to a Slayer concert, just ask comedian Jim Bruer. He describes Slayer fans with hilarious, real details here:
Alright, light goes off, and just like Jim Bruer, I got that giddy feeling, but this time, I have a metal fence and an army of security folks watching my back… I love metal fans, but I’m honestly too old to endure the pit.
Here is a an interesting story about Slayer when I was growing up with my friends, that actually still listen to Slayer to this date. It was 1994, at the Monsters of Rock in Brazil. We had a long day of Heavy Metal and Slayer didn’t hit the stage until 1 a.m. We were pretty darn tired, standing all crammed at the pit and towards the last third of the show. During “Seasons of the Abyss”, we looked, and our friend JV was, I kid you not, sleeping on his feet. That’s what Slayer fans do, they endure whatever conditions to see the band!
Anyway, back to Raleigh, did I mention how hot it was? Well, that was nothing, compared to when the pyrotechnics went up, but at that point, I had forgotten about all that nonsense. Tom Araya was right in front of me and my focus became the band.
I must admit that it felt like my high school days were back. Nobody makes a stage statement like Slayer does–and they are Slayer for a reason. Tom Araya filled the venue with his strong presence. As Slayer’s Commander in Chief, he knows how to lead his fans, as he oozes with charisma, folks. Kerry King is such a beast of a man that I had to take a breath every time just to keep in focus. I was happy to see Gary Holt really being in tune with Slayer–this man knows all about guitar violence. I was bummed that I couldn’t see Paul Bostaph behind his office desk ( I mean drum kit) but I felt like being punched in the chest every time he pumped the bass drum, seriously.
Slayer definitely brought the good dirty Trash Metal that I grew up to Raleigh. What a performance. I will be reveling in the memory of this one for a long time. Thumbs up to the audio and light support crew that did a magnificent job, complementing all the power of the band with an incredible, loud as f#%k, light show. The show was everything you could expect from Slayer–and more! Totally EFFING awesome!
Delusions of Saviour
When the Stillness Comes
You Against You
Dead Skin Mask
Born of Fire
Cast the First Stone
Seasons in the Abyss
South of Heaven
Angel of Death
A snippet of Slayer at Red Hat Amphitheater
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